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The Village Voice
News from the Village of Vernon Hills
Feb. 21, 2020
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In This Issue of
the Village Voice

  • LPR Cameras
  • Huntington Drive
  • March 17 Election
  • Census
  • VHHS Bowlers
  • Meeting Schedule
  • Budget Season
  • CAFR/Pensions
  • Brookdale
  • Liquor Licenses
  • Summer Celebration
  • Bunny Rock 5K
  • Alternative Source Med Addition
  • White Deer Run
  • Job Openings
  • Best Wishes, Vince
  • New Businesses
  • Update Show
  • Calendar
  • Restaurant Week

Village Voice eNews

The Village Voice eNewsletter is provided as a service of the Village of Vernon Hills. This eNewsletter is distributed once or twice each month. You may manage your subscription at the bottom of the page. Please direct your comments to Social@vhills.org.

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New Crime-Fighting Tool...

LPR Camera System

The Vernon Hills Police Department is adding a new tool to their crime-fighting tool box – License Plate Recognition (LPR) Cameras. During the February 4 Committee of the Whole meeting, Police Chief Patrick Kreis and Deputy Chief Patrick Zimmerman presented information about the technology, which would be placed at locations typically travelled by criminals as they enter or exit the Village.

LPR cameras scan for specific vehicles entered into the the system – for instance, stolen vehicles or vehicles associated with Amber Alerts
. When the software identifies a vehicle on the "hot list," law enforcement would be alerted. The system can also help police gather data to help solve crimes.

At the February 18 Board Meeting, Trustees approved the request, agreeing to a $20,000 annual contract, which includes a 60 day trial for the system, which is owned and maintained by the contractor. Note that these are not red light cameras or actively monitored camera systems used for enforcement, but rather technology used to prevent and solve crimes. 

Learn more about the system by viewing the news story "With Auto Thefts on the Rise, Vernon Hills Police Bringing in License Plate-Reading Cameras to Fight Crime" by CBS 2 Chicago reporter Jermont Terry, which first aired on February 19. (Vernon Hills Village Board Meeting - 2/4/20) (Vernon Hills Village Board Meeting - 2/18/20)
 

Huntington/Gregg's Parkway

The six-month safety study of the Huntington Drive/Gregg's Parkway intersection continues. Starting January 6, the dedicated right turn lane from westbound Gregg's Parkway north onto Huntington Drive was blocked off by temporary lane delineators. Drivers may still turn north at that intersection, but now do so from the combined through-and-right-turn lane from Gregg's Parkway. This is consistent with most of the intersections within the Gregg's Landing subdivision.

As reported in earlier Village Voice eNewsletters and discussed during several Village Board meetings, the lane closure is an effort to improve safety at this busy intersection. Analysis of accidents at this intersection revealed that visibility was a major contributing factor in both car versus car and car versus pedestrian/bike accidents, as vehicles in the right turn lane blocked sight lines. Based on this data, Lake County Department of Transportation (who currently has shared authority by agreement over Gregg's Parkway) concurred with and supports this temporary closure.

During the next several months, data will be collected and analyzed to determine if the closure is effective in reducing accidents and increasing safety. 


The 2019 Traffic Study is available on the Village's Gregg's Pkwy and Huntington Intersection Study Update web article.

 

March 17 General Primary Election

Register online until March 1
Early Voting available now


Links to Online Resources:
Lake County Clerk Primary Election webpage
Lake County Clerk Voter Services webpage
Voter Information Guide
Illinois Online Voter Registration – until March 1
Confirm Registration & Preview Ballot

 
  • Census opens mid-March
  • Respond online, by phone, by mail
  • Complete for everyone living in your household
  • Available in dozens of languages
  • Data is safeguarded – your answers are anonymous
  • An easy way to support your community!

The Census is upon us, and your response matters. Health clinics. Fire departments. Schools. Roads. The census shapes so many aspects of our community. 

  • Census results help determine how billions of dollars in federal funding flow into states and communities each year.
  • The results determine how many seats in Congress each state gets.
  • It's mandated by the U.S. Constitution in Article 1, Section 2: The U.S. has counted its population every 10 years since 1790.

Please support your community by completing the Census, and encouraging others to do the same. To learn more, visit 2020census.gov as well as the Vernon Hills Complete Count Census Committee webpage, which includes a sample Census form
 

BE ALERT!  Residents have reported receiving solicitations that give the appearance of being from the U.S. Census Bureau. However these scam solicitations ask for money, or support for a political candidate or party. The U.S. Census will never ask for money. The actual Census does not require your social security or credit card numbers. The Census will not send you unsolicited emails. If you receive one of these scams, please do not respond. If you have questions or concerns, consider calling 800-923-8282 to speak with a local Census Bureau representative. You may also call 911 and talk with a VHPD officer. 
 
Congratulations to the Vernon Hills High School Bowling Team for bringing home the 2nd place trophy from the State Tournament! The team includes (from left standing) Coach Bill Spigner, Brendan Healey, Alex Kouvelas, Jacob Gates (team captain), Brandon Cervantes, Noah Kalicki, Coach Ron Long, (kneeling) Nick Schwind and Joseph Napierkowski. 

VILLAGE BOARD

 
Meeting Schedule:


Tuesday, March 3
Tuesday, March 24 (tentative)*
Tuesday, April 7
Tuesday, April 21

 
  • *Note that the second meeting in March has tentatively been moved to March 24.
  • The full Meeting Schedule is available on the Meeting Schedules webpage. 
  • Meetings begin at 7 p.m. and are held at Village Hall, 290 Evergreen Drive at Route 45 unless otherwise noted. 
  • Residents are encouraged to attend meetings, as well as view them on the Village YouTube Channel and on Cable Access. Agendas and minutes are posted online. 
  • Agendas are generally posted online by the Monday prior to each meeting. 
  

Village Budget Season: During the next few Village Board Meetings, Trustees will review budget items and suggest changes in preparation for the next fiscal year, which begins May 1, 2020. Residents are encouraged to attend Board Meetings and review budget drafts, which will be posted on the Village Financial Documents webpage as they become available.

CAFR 2019: During the February 18 Village Board Meeting, Tom Siwicki, Senior Manager for Village auditor Sikich LLP, outlined highlights of the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) for Fiscal Year End April 30, 2019. The auditor offered an "unmodified opinion" to the Village, which is the highest level of assurance that the audit and the Village's financial reporting is in order. Of particular interest is the fact that the General Fund Balance at fiscal year end 2019 was $26 million dollars, which represents a very healthy 96 percent of the Village Operating Budget. The Village has adopted a policy that the Fund Balance should be maintained at 67 percent or better. CAFR for FYE 2019 (Vernon Hills Village Board Meeting - 2/18/20)

Pension Levels: In conjunction with the auditor's CAFR report, Mr. Siwicki also discussed pension funding, noting that IMRF (one of the most well-funded plan available) was funded at approximately 82.3 percent. This level is actually lower than the previous year's report due to an investment performance dip for 2018. The Village's Police Pension is funded at approximately 69 percent, which puts it in the top seven percent of police funds in the state. Note that the Village follows a conservative path determined by the actuary contracted to determine contributions. Under the State of Illinois' less conservative guidelines, the Village Police Pension Fund is considered approximately 80 percent funded. The Village has pledged to reach 100 percent funding by 2040, which exceeds the state mandate to reach 90 percent funding by that year. 
(Vernon Hills Village Board Meeting - 2/18/20)

Brookdale Senior Living: Lake County Health Department has informed the Village of five confirmed cases of Legionnaires' Disease, including one death, at Brookdale Senior Living, 145 N. Milwaukee Avenue. The disease causes a type of severe pneumonia, which is particularly serious for those with compromised immune systems. The Village extends condolences and encourages anyone who believes they may have been exposed to the Legionella bacteria and who are suffering symptoms to visit their doctor. Lake County Health Department continues to work with Brookdale staff to investigate, monitor and eradicate any sources of Legionnaires' Disease. (Lake County Health Department Media Release)

Real Urban Liquor License: On February 18, an attorney representing Famous Dave's restaurant group appeared before the Liquor & License Commission to request transfer of the liquor license for Real Urban BBQ to Famous Dave's as the restaurant's new owner.  

Park District Special Events: Vernon Hills Park District Executive Director Jeff Fougerousse appeared before the February 4 Liquor and License Commission to receive Class G Licenses for the Craft Beer Tasting (February 29 at Sullivan Center), Finn's Up (August 1 at Family Aquatic Center), and Rib Fest (August 21 and 22 at Century Park). 

Summer Celebration Management: The Village entered into a contract with Entertainment Management Group (EMG) to provide all entertainment and production services for the 2020 Vernon Hills Summer Celebration (July 16 through 19). The celebration has grown in complexity and workload for both the volunteer committee and Village staff. EMG will now handle booking acts, setting up stages, hiring crews, etc. The organization is paid ten percent of booking fees, but because they work with many large regional and national events, their "buying power" should result in minimal or no cost increase to the Village. (Vernon Hills Village Board Meeting - 2/4/20)

Bunny Rock 5K: Representatives of Adrenaline Special Events (working with Hawthorn Mall) requested approval for their second annual Bunny Rock 5K and Kids Egg Hunt from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. on April 4 outside of Hawthorn Mall. Proceeds will benefit Reach Rescue of Mundelein. (Vernon Hills Village Board Meeting - 2/4/20)

Alternative Source Medical Addition: Alternative Source Medical, 645 Forest Edge Drive, received approval for a 27,906 square foot addition.  (Vernon Hills Village Board Meeting - 2/4/20)

White Deer Run Golf Course: On February 4, Trustees un-tabled and approved a new lease agreement between the Village (course owner) and White Deer Run Golf Course, LLC (tenant). The initial agreement dated April 9, 1996 with PAR Development, Inc. (the tenant's predecessor) was extended another thirty years. The agreement includes buy-out options at five-year increments. (Vernon Hills Village Board Meeting - 10/15/19)  (Vernon Hills Village Board Meeting - 2/4/20)

Village Job Opportunities: The Village has a number of open job opportunities, including seasonal positions at Public Works. To learn more, check the Village's Human Resources webpage.

Best Wishes, Commander Utter: During the February 18 Village Board Meeting, Village President Roger Byrne read a proclamation honoring and thanking VHPD Commander Vincent Utter, who is retiring from VHPD to continue his law enforcement career at the College of Lake County. Thank you and best wishes! 
 
 

NEW BIZ

Shopping, dining and playing here in Vernon Hills help keep our businesses and our whole community strong. Our business community needs our support to stay vibrant. Not only that, a portion of sales tax collected here comes back to us. The bulk of Village-provided services (such as snow plowing and police protection) are funded by sales tax, as the Village collects no property tax. Thank you for supporting all of our local businesses, including the following that have recently received occupancy permits:
    

February Vernon Hills Update
Cable/Web Show


Did you get a chance to check out the February edition of the Vernon Hills Update Cable/Web Show? This edition includes a important information about the 2020 Census (which opens in March), the new Vernon Hills Senior Taxi Program, ice safety tips from Countryside Fire, and information about the Cub Scout Pinewood Derby, coming up on February 29 at Hawthorn Mall. Watch all Vernon Hills Update Shows on the Update YouTube Channel.
 

MARK YOUR CALENDAR

Pinewood Derby – Saturday, February 29 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Hawthorn Mall (Cub Scout Mall Event)

Park District 7th Annual Craft Beer Tasting – Saturday, February 29, 5 to 9 p.m. at Sullivan Center (Park District Event

Hawthorn Kindergarten Parent Dual Language Info Meeting – Tuesday, March 3 at 7 p.m. at School of Dual Language, 810 N. Aspen Drive (Hawthorn D73 Event)

Legion BINGO – Thursday, March 5 at 6:30 p.m. at Vernon Hills Golf Course, 291 Evergreen Drive 

Hawthorn Middle North's Raise and Shave for the Brave supporting St. Baldrick's Foundation – Saturday, March 7 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. (Middle North Event)

20th Annual Cougar Athletic Boosters's Annual Bash Fundraiser – Saturday, March 7 from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. at DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel, Mundelein; supports VHHS athletics (CAB Event)

Daylight Saving Time Begins – Sunday, March 8 – Spring ahead one hour! Change your clocks and change your smoke alarm batteries!

Hawthorn Kindergarten Parent Info Meeting – Tuesday, March 10 at 7 p.m. at Hawthorn Elementary South, 430 N. Aspen Drive (Hawthorn D73 Event)

Citizen's Police Academy Begins – Wednesday, March 11 at 7 p.m. at VHPD, 740 Lakeview Parkway (VHPD Event)

Aspen Drive Library Hawthorn Art Show Opening Celebration – Thursday, March 12 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Aspen Drive Library (Library Event)

Rock the Bald: St. Baldrick's Fundraiser – Saturday, March 14 from noon to 2 p.m. at Hawthorn Mall (Hawthorn Mall Event)

CMPLD Mini Comic-Con – Sunday, March 15 from 1 to 4:30 p.m. at Aspen Drive Library (Library Event)

How to Draw Anything with Gene Ha – Sunday, March 15 from 2 to 3:15 p.m. at Aspen Drive Library (Library Event)

GENERAL PRIMARY ELECTION – Tuesday, March 17 (Lake County Clerk General Primary Election webpage)

Park District You're My Superhero –  Friday, March 20 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Sullivan Center (Park District Event)

Legion BINGO – Thursday, April 2 at 6:30 p.m. at Vernon Hills Golf Course, 291 Evergreen Drive 

Park District Kids' Castle Dragon Egg Hunt –  Friday, April 3 at 7 p.m. (Park District Event)

Bunny Rock 5K and Egg Hunt – Saturday, April 4 from 8:30 to 11 a.m. at Hawthorn Mall (Mall Event)

Park District Hoppin' Holiday Hunt – Saturday, April 4 from 9 to 11 a.m. at Sullivan Center (Park District Event)

Hawthorn D73 Strategic Plan Meeting – Thursday, April 16 from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Sullivan Community Center. (Hawthorn Event)

Hawthorn Mall Earth Day Expo – Saturday, April 18 from 2 to 4 p.m. (Mall Event)

Folds of Honor Fundraiser – Sunday, April 19 from 1 to 5 p.m. at Vernon Hills High School (VH Sports Club Cougars Event)

Earth Day 2020 – 50th Anniversary – Wednesday, April 22 (Earthday.org)

Park District Loop the Lakes 5K Run/Walk – Saturday, April 25 at 9 a.m. at Century Park (Park District Event)

Park District Family Kite Fly – Saturday, April 25 at 11 a.m. at Century Park (Park District Event)

Hawthorn D73 Strategic Plan Meeting – Thursday, May 7 from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Sullivan Community Center. (Hawthorn Event)

Recycle-O-Rama – Saturday, May 30 from 9 a.m. to noon at Hawthorn Mall (Event)

Tired of Winter?

Get Out and About...

 Visit Lake County!

 

Visit Lake County (visitlakecounty.org) offers great ideas for visitors – and for us residents. Make plans for Lake County Restaurant Week, which runs from February 28 to March 8. Or check out the Lake County Outdoor Guide for everything from ski spots to dog parks. Check out all that Vernon Hills and Lake County has to offer!



Looking ahead...
Set your clocks ahead one hour on March 8!
When you change your clocks,
change your smoke detector batteries, too!



Thanks for reading
The Village Voice

Suggestions? Questions? 
Contact us at Social@vhills.org

 

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